Teddy Cruz was born in Guatemala City in 1962. He currently lives and works in San Diego (USA), where he set up his office for urban and architectural research in the year 2000. He studied architecture in Guatemala, California and Italy, and received his Master’s in Design Studies from Harvard University in 1997.
During his career he has shown particular interest in studying the invisible dynamics that underlie city development, or what he calls “informal urbanisms”, a practice that redefines and challenges the imposition of political and economic limits by official organizations.
Since his urban research work focuses on the border between the United States and Latin America (San Diego-Tijuana), in the past few years it has centered on observing, researching and translating transborder urban dynamics that transgress the rigidity of political limits. These invisible dynamics include migrant social flows, informal economic networks and urban retrofitting and recycling systems. The way border neighborhoods reinvent everyday life suggests alternative socio-economic and political procedures that can act as the basis for imagining new meanings for citizenship, infrastructure and low-cost housing.
Fore Teddy, the creative processes that have stood out through his research have provided him with a new role in architectural practice, “understanding it as a mediatory practice that facilitates new forms of knowledge and education processes”.
His intervention in MDE11 seeks to bring to light the conflicts, controversies and potentials that lie behind large-scale urbanization processes, particularly in the case of Medellín’s Library Parks project, which he considers “one of the most progressive urban projects in Latin America”; nevertheless, despite the massive attention library parks have been given by the media, “the socio-political and economic processes that made them possible have seldom been explained.”
The construction of mechanisms for visual knowledge, diagrams and maps serving as instruments to reveal the specific nature of social processes in urban policies and economics forms part of the project Teddy Cruz is conducting in conjunction with students, academic advisors and other political and civic players in Medellín.